March 2021 OES Beacon

IEEE OES UNIZG SBC Activities

Nadir Kapetanović, Igor Kvasić, Kristijan Krčmar, Anja Babić      

 After the success of student-organized lectures and hands-on tutorials during the International Interdisciplinary Field Workshop of Maritime Robotics and Applications – Breaking the Surface in October 2020, IEEE OES University of Zagreb Student Branch Chapter (UNIZG SBC) has remained active and continued to emphasize the importance of professional experience and knowledge transfer not only among the SBC members but also to the wider IEEE community.

On November 26 and 27, 2020, our members formed a team to participate in the Smart shipping hackathon organized by De Vlaamse Waterweg nv, Antwerp Management School and EY (smartshipping-hackathon.com/). The hackathon was aimed at improving and finding innovative solutions for the inland waterway shipping sector, formed in four separate challenges: Crewless lock passage, Communication, Corridor management and Operations for the future. Our members, together with the other participants, had the chance to learn a lot about how the Belgian inland waterway system is organized and what the current state of the art is, as well as what the biggest issues currently are. The participants used their marine robotics background as well as problem solving skills and critical thinking to come up with innovative solutions. They had the chance to talk and discuss their ideas with leading experts and mentors from the field and to participate in very informative workshops such as Business Modeling and Pitching Workshop. They got excellent feedback from the organizers and did their part in finding better solutions towards automation, cost-effectiveness, safety and green energy transition to help unlock the enormous economic potential that lies in using our waterways. A great exercise for our members, encouraging teamwork, innovative thinking, entrepreneurship and inspiration!

The poster of prof. Singh’s talk “Field Robotics: Where are we, where we came from and where we are going”

On December 1st, 2020, Mr. Hanumant Singh, a Professor at Northeastern University and the chair of the Autonomous Marine Systems Technical Committee, gave a very interesting talk on the topic of “Field Robotics: Where are we, where we came from and where we are going.” The talk was co-organized by IEEE OES UNIZG SBC, IEEE Young Professionals and IEEE Region 8 Societies. The recording of the talk is available at IEEE Region 8 Young Professionals FB page and their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/c/IEEER8YoungProfessionals.

This talk examined how field robotics has evolved over the last 25 years. Looking at examples from expeditions around the world in the pursuit of Marine Archaeology, Marine Geology, Fisheries Science, and Polar Studies, the arc of engineering research was traced in the context of what we have accomplished and several open problems that remain.

Kristijan Krčmar giving a lecture on 3D printing

Kristijan Krčmar, a member of UNIZG SBC and an employee of H2O-Robotics company (h2o-robotics.com), held a tutorial on December 7th, 2020, titled “Getting Started with 3D Printing: Case Studies and Best Practices.” The tutorial tackled many aspects of 3D printing, i.e., how to export a model from CAM/CAD program in good enough quality that after using 3D printing software the surface and mechanical properties of the printed model are of high quality. Various parameters such as “elephant foot”, z-seem, printing temperature, and their effects on the printed model properties were discussed. The participants had the chance to touch 3D printed models of the same object of various quality levels as well as go step-by-step through the 3D printing software that Kristijan uses.

On December 14th 2020, Igor Kvasić, IEEE OES UNIZG SBC Vice-Chair, held a very engaging tutorial “Virtual Reality Diving Glove Workshop.” The use of hand gestures is a natural form of communication among divers. As part of the ADRIATIC project, the Biomimetics lab of the University of Auckland is integrating wearable sensors into a dive glove to extend the capabilities of hand gestures. This could allow divers to interact regardless of orientation and visibility. In ADRIATIC project gesture recognition is implemented as a form of communication between a diver and underwater vehicles. Once recognized, a gesture is translated into a command and communicated through acoustic modems to an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Igor Kvasić presenting the results of the ADRIATIC project and the technology behind the gesture recognition diving glove

The goal of this tutorial was to acquaint the audience with the latest prototypes of the gesture recognizing glove and the technology behind it, as well as give a hands-on experience in using the glove to control the underwater vehicle in an HTC Vive virtual reality simulator. The participants were presented an in-depth overview of setting up the glove and the basic gesture command list, which is going to be used as a feedback of repeatability and user friendliness, which could be used for further development purposes.

The environment of the ocean floor is still almost completely mysterious, yet is only a few kilometers from our coasts. The oceans and seas are difficult to reach for direct observation. Only in the last 20 to 30 years have we succeeded in exploring and mapping the Earth’s seabed, mainly through technological advances such as acoustic remote sensing, e.g., multibeam sonars. On this note, Nadir Kapetanović, the Secretary of the IEEE OES UNIZG SBC, organized a tutorial titled “Bathymetry Data Collection by an Autonomous Surface Vehicle and Post-Processing: Case studies” on January 11th, 2021. Two aspects of using multibeam sonar technology for bathymetric surveys were addressed: (1) bathymetric surveys of the seafloor and lake beds for hydrological/geological applications, and (2) bathymetric surveys of underwater cultural heritage sites.  The attendees had a chance to go through the whole process of logistics planning for the survey missions, mission planning with respect to the sonar/vehicle/environment parameters, as well as post-processing of the collected data in WBMS and QPS Qimera software.

Nadir Kapetanović giving a lecture about bathymetry

The last part of Nadir’s bathymetry tutorial was related to merging acoustical point clouds from bathymetry with camera-based point clouds from photogrammetry at underwater cultural heritage sites to form multi-resolution fully textured 3D opto-acoustic models. Following this topic, Nadir held another tutorial titled “Photogrammetry: From Photos to Scaled 3D Models” on January 18th, 2021.

Nadir Kapetanović presenting the pipeline of photogrammetric data collection and processing

Photogrammetry is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through processes of recording, measuring, and interpreting photographic images and patterns of recorded radiant electromagnetic energy and other phenomena. Photogrammetry is nearly as old as photography itself. Since its development approximately 150 years ago, photogrammetry has moved from a purely analog, optomechanical technique to digital photogrammetry based on digital imagery and computer vision. This tutorial addressed two domains of photogrammetry applications for generating 3D models and orthophotos: (1) land/air: based on hand-held camera or unmanned aerial vehicle’s (UAV) camera, and (2) underwater: based on diver’s hand-held camera, as well as a camera mounted onto a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The attendees had a chance to go through the whole process of mission planning for the survey missions, with respect to the camera/vehicle/environment parameters, as well as post-processing of the collected data in Agisoft Metashape software.